Microsoft’s Zune, the long-dead digital music player, is experiencing something of a renaissance. He’s a special character in the new movie (get it?). Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 .
Star-Lord, played by Chris Pratt, has replaced his Sony Walkman in the film, which opens on May 5. Volume 1 Y 2 For the Zune (not even the Zune HD model). If we were to guess, this would mean that the team ended up on Earth in 2006, when the first 30GB Microsoft Zune was released.
Being little more than a passing note in any other movie, thanks to a partnership between the filmmakers and, yes, Microsoft. There is a website Zune.net (opens in new tab)Dedicated to the star creation of the classic Zune, and plenty of cord-related activity, including 3D printing a Zune case in space.
This sudden resurgence of interest in the Zune takes us back 17 years to the beginning of the aborted Zune revolution.
A good hook
Microsoft’s best effort to grab a piece of the digital media player market came at precisely the wrong time. It was five years after Apple’s new iPad was introduced, and a year before Apple released the first iPhone and put the iPad out of business for more than a decade.
Our memory of the Zune is that it performed differently and sometimes better than the iPod. Of course, it’s a little disconnected with the Zune Pad controller, which looks a lot like the original iPad’s scroll wheel. However, there were other nice and unusual touches, such as the ability to share music (albeit temporarily) between Zune owners.
Microsoft sold millions of Zunes, but not as many millions as Apple did with the iPad.
A low blow
After the release of the iPhone, everyone fell in love with multipurpose mobile devices that could communicate and entertain, and Microsoft really had no way to respond. Its original Windows Mobile operating system was ugly and unsuitable for the Zune.
When the Zune HD was released in 2009, Apple’s iPhone was already in the works.
Most of us who have seen the tiny, sleek, Zune Pad-less Zune HD in person have been blown away by its beauty. The device had an OLED-based touchscreen several years before the iPhone. The interface was bold and bright, which would later influence the Windows Phone platform.
He also died on the way. Within two years of its release, Microsoft had effectively killed off the Zune hardware business, leaving only vestiges of the Zune software ecosystem alive. They too eventually disappeared.
This was not expected
Now, years after June faded from memory, Microsoft and Marvel are giving it a revival. But only in name and nostalgia.
The Microsoft site has a video with developer Scott Hanselman, who shows how to get everything working again with a modern Windows PC, along with an enviable collection of original Zunes.
Let me tell you, you have some serious obstacles to do. Microsoft doesn’t offer support for these devices, and Hanselman uses slick developer solutions to find the software and tools needed to pull various third-party fan sites and music and video players into our smartphone-saturated present.
Watch the videos and remember something we discussed about the Zune, we can’t help but be amazed by its elegant interface and beautiful industrial design. It literally had everything it needed to succeed in the world of modern mobile technology, except maybe time.
When asked by writer-director James Gunn Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, on the emerging social networking site Bluesky, made it clear why he chose the Zune, and that it wasn’t about technology or missed opportunities. „I thought it was funny,” Gunn wrote.
Butt of a movie comedy or not, at least now June can live, perhaps forever, on Star-Lord’s speedy loins.